Worst month of my life.

August is normally a great month for me. It’s my birthday month, I love my birthday so therefor I love august. But unlike every other August I have experienced in my 23 years of life, this one was different. This one kicked me and kicked me again and again. I’ll lay it all out for you…

The first week of August was by far the most terrifying. Hattie randomly did a little shake one Friday which I noted as something kids do, nothing serious. Only lasted a matter of seconds and she went back about her usual toddler business. Then two days after she did the exact same thing but this time hit her head a few times after it and then went about her usual thing. Me being a mother went into complete meltdown, panicked and rung my doctors surgery to which they told me to bring her down straight away and she’ll be seen. On my way down I kept thinking that I was being ridiculous because Hattie was once again completely normal but instead of being reassured that I was just overreacting and the doctor actually told me that they think she might be having seizures. The doctor advised me to try and catch her little episode on video so when she sees the neurologist it would be easier for him to identify if in fact she is having a seizure. I went into complete meltdown, cried all night and was heartbroken. Every sinister thought popped into my head even when I tried my hardest to push it out. Two days later she had done it a few times so I rung and booked another doctors appointment and was thankfully seen that day. The doctor told me that it does indeed sound like a seizure but that it was completely normal for children to have them at a young age and they normally grow out of it by seven. He said that although scary for us parents, its basically harmless to the children. I left feeling like a weight had been lifted and on I went about my normal business of making a one day event, my birthday, into a weekend thing and everything seemed to be getting much better.

Well that was until the 10th of August. A few months previous to this I had gone to see my doctor about having a mole on my back removed. It had been there for as long as I could remember but it was always something I wanted gone. It was something that worried myself and my mum for years so I finally did it and went to see if my doctor could refer me. I had a letter back within a week saying that I’d have an appointment anytime from then up to 26 weeks. For some reason my mother wasn’t having any of that so she told me to go private and that she’d pay. So the time had come for me to see the dermatologist about my mole. It was only supposed to be a consultation. There was a few questions before he looked at it, things like is it sore, does it bleed, causing you any pain at all and when my answer was no to every single one you could see this puzzled look on his face as he tried to figure out why the hell I was there. So off I went, sat on the bed, tshirt pulled up like a scarf around my neck, stomach rolls on show and that was when he said “yes, there are some changes and it needs to come off” so I had it off that day at 5pm to which he sent me on my way and said results should be back in a week, please try not to worry. So of course I spent the whole week crying, hardly eating, ringing him constantly just in case he had the results and couldn’t get through.

On the 17th of August at 2:30pm my Doctor rung me. He told me that my results were back and asked if I could get a pen and paper to jot a few things down while he spoke to me. And right there, I knew something wasn’t right.

“The results are back and its turned out to be Melanoma.” Those few words hit the wind out of me, my legs turned to jelly and my hands were shaking uncontrollably. He told me that although it was cancer that its actually good news. Because we caught it so early, the earliest it could of been caught, it was all gone. He had taken every last bit of it away. He said that they measure the cancer by the Murlow thickness and that mine was only 0.26mil which apparently is the best news you could want with this situation. It means that I wouldn’t need any scans, blood tests, chemo or anything that usually comes with this terrifying word. All I would need is the 1cm cut off from the margin around my scar and have regular check ups with him. So yesterday I went, had my margin removed, spoke to him a bit more about it and found out that it is extremely unlikely that it’ll ever come back and he described it as more of an inconvenience than a worry. He checked all my moles and my glands yesterday and everything is as it should be. I will need to go back every three months to be checked over for the next three years but apart from that, life goes on as usual.

The reason I am writing this in a blog post is because partly this is how I process things, which is what I have to do now. I have to process that at 23 I had melanoma and if I had left it, my outcome could of been terrible. But I am also sharing this to raise some form of awareness. My mole wasn’t sore, wasn’t bleeding, wasn’t causing any discomfort. I wasn’t stupid in the sun, always wore suntan lotion and I’ve never used a sunbed. So if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. So to whoever is reading this, please look after your body. You only have one life so do everything you possibly can to ensure its a long and happy one.

Checking your skin is just as important as checking your breasts, having a smear and for you boys, the importance is just the same.

Cancer doesn’t having a type. It chooses who it likes, it chose me and I am 23, relatively healthy with a toddler to look after so try and not only prevent it but also catch it as early as possible. Just be vigilant with your bodies and if something doesn’t seem right, don’t push it at the back of your minds, book that doctors appointment and be seen, its your life that you’re risking.

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Terrible two’s.

Being a parent is all about what you can teach your child but also what you can learn from your child. Hattie has taught me many things, in someway, Hattie has taught me far more than I could ever teach her. She has taught me how it is possible to love something this much, this love is unimaginable and damn right scary but it came to me so easy and so fast.

I have taught Hattie how to walk, talk, her manners, how to be kind, her ABC’s, how to count to 10 and many other things but what she has taught me is far greater. She has had phases throughout her two and a half years that have tested me and made me feel like I am not good enough to be her mother.

When Hattie turned one she decided that she didn’t want to try new foods anymore and that she didn’t really want to eat at all and to be honest, it scared the life out of me but after seeing her health visitor, getting her weighed more often than usual I realised that its a normal thing to happen. Most children go through this phase and even if one day they don’t want to eat at all then no matter how much it worries you, you cant make a big deal out of it. You just have to carry on like normal and more times than not, they will get their appetite back and they will once again eat you out of house and home. A year and a half later and Hattie still wont try new foods and does go back and forth with eating ridiculous amounts and then eating absolutely nothing at all but that’s ok because she is still putting on weight and is still happy and healthy.

This last week and half has been the hardest I have experienced since becoming a mam. I have had to fight with Hattie about everything.

I’ve had to fight her to eat, to get dressed, to brush her teeth, to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. I never knew you could argue with a toddler until last week and now we argue at least twice a day. She has gone from the easiest child in the world to an absolute devil. She also likes hitting and punching when she has a tantrum, not just to me but to herself. So I can’t even ignore her when she’s kicking off about absolutely nothing because she will attack herself!!

She’s gobby and wiser than her years so everything is hard work right about now. I feel physically exhausted every single day and to make things worse, she isn’t well so she’s naturally touchy about everything. 8 times out of 10 she’s perfect but she does make up for it with her ridiculous tantrums she has, I have never heard anyone scream like she does.

Also time out doesn’t work on my child because when she is upset she will take herself away from the situation and leave the room to be by herself so time out to her isn’t punishment, its ideal.

This whole blog post is about how right now, I am mentally and physically struggling and its all thanks to the “terrible two’s.” (And her red hair of course) so thank you Terrible two’s, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making my life hard work with the stroppiness and the bossiness.

Oh and thank you for knocking my diet on the head because Hattie’s attitude lately has made me stress eat.

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Everything I hope for you.

I hope as you grow from a little girl to a beautiful woman that you don’t lose that sparkle in your eye. The sparkle you get when you see something new for the first time and curiosity just takes over your whole being and you have to investigate. I hope you’ll forever keep it.

I hope you still want to sit with me on the sofa, watching your favourite films, eating your favourite food. I will always hope that no matter how big you get, you’ll still think of me as this amazing person that you do now. I hope I am not the whole of your world but that I am a big enough part of it that you still want to involve me in, not only the big things that happen to you but even the small.

I hope I will bring you up to not be opinionated or rude but to be able to stand your ground and not get pushed around. I hope the stubbornness you’ve got nailed now will forever stay with you. I hope that you’ll keep that fire inside your stomach and that it’ll drive your determination to do anything.

I hope that you aren’t terrified of experiencing the world but you are careful and smart. I want more than anything for you to do everything you will ever wish to do but I also hope you remember that life and this big world can be dangerous and you should always listen to that voice inside your head. I hope that voice inside your head will always be me, guiding you and keeping you safe no matter where myself or you are.

I hope you will always know right from wrong. I hope that you will always be as kind and selfless as you are now and that you’ll always give people all that love inside your heart but I also hope that you receive the love you will give so freely. I hope you will know what you deserve and if someone isn’t giving it to you then I hope you’ll be big enough and brave enough to demand it or walk away. You’re the most loving little girl I know and you deserve all the love in the world. Remember that!

I hope that no one will dull your personality, I hope that you will still sing whenever you want to and I hope the funny, weird and wacky little girl you are now will always stay with you. Never let anyone change you. Never go about your life trying to be someone else just to please people around you, be your wonderful self and everyone who’s worthy of you will love you for it. Your personality will never be boring, the words you speak will never be boring as long as you live your life and speak your words with confidence.

I hope you will still stand there when you’re older and say “my name is Hattie O’Brien – Chan” with the same proudness you do now because there will only ever be one of you and take it from me, you’re the best person that has graced this world. You’ve made many peoples lives a better one just by being you.

 

 

Poorly Hattie, tired mammy

So lets face it, after having three sleepless nights, a grizzly baby, trips to the doctors and sick in my hair and Hattie’s hair, I think I can officially say parenting is bloody hard and sometimes complete bullshit!

There is absolutely nothing worse or more worrying than your child being unwell. Hattie has had her second viral infection in the last month and this time it has completely knocked her socks off. She’s struggling keeping her temperature down, she’s not eating, she’s lethargic, she’s having coughing fits which results to vomit absolutely everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE!!)

I was stood by the sick little less than half hour ago washing excess sick off Hattie’s bed sheets, pillow, pyjamas then putting them on a boil wash, then cleaning the sick off the carpet and bathroom floor and then literally spraying the shit out of a Febreze can to try and stop the smell of sick taking over the house.

Luckily though Hattie woke up, threw up everywhere, had a little cry and is now comfortably sleeping right next to me in bed, whereas I on the other hand is sat in bed, wide awake with fear in case Hattie is sick again and chokes on it – this is exactly what goes through every mothers mind!! The big light is on and I am not going to sleep until I know for a fact that Hattie is safe and well out of the “spewing everywhere” phase.

I mean who said parenthood wasn’t glamorous? Because I may be buzzing of sick with greasy and sick infested hair and black circles around my eyes but I am pretty much owning it!

 

Something for myself –

For the past two years I’ve only been a mum. I know it sounds so bad – ‘only been a mum’ but I have and I have loved every minute of it but one thing my life has lacked and one thing I promised myself on New Years was that I would find something to do for myself. May it be a hobby, a course of some kind or even bloody bingo on a Tuesday night. Whatever it is, I promised myself I would find it and I would do it.

Although I have been wanting to attend bingo with some friends for a while now, (I am 22 not 82, believe me.) I haven’t had the chance but I have found something that I absolutely love and its something for myself. I have officially started a night course in my local college. Its every Monday for a couple of hours where I am out of the house, learning something new and interacting with new people.

I am studying Theatrical and Media Makeup and I am loving it! I feel like this is something I want to learn more of, something I want to wrap myself around, something I want to do well in. I’ve only been to three classes at the moment and I’ve only learnt bruising and scars but it is incredible. I find myself searching tutorials online, watching horrors just to see the makeup and wanting to go somewhere with this.

I will always be a mum first and foremost. Nothing will come close to my darling Hattie but I am still 22, I still want to learn new things and experience life. I am so thankful for my life that I don’t want to miss out on anything! I want to wake up and take in every beautiful thing, I want to breathe in life, I want to live!

I am going to make a career doing something I love and I honestly hope this is it! I hope I get to make a living out of this. I have so many plans on what I want to do after this course that I am so excited.

I know that no matter what happens, Hattie is going to grow up incredibly proud of me, I am her mother, I am incredibly proud of my mother in whatever she does but I do want Hattie to know that I am doing something I love and that no matter happens in her life, she can too.

Good people bring up even better children. I want Hattie to grow up loving the life she lives and if she doesn’t love it, I want her to be brave enough to change whatever she needs to change.

My  daughter is my life so I am going to make damn sure her life will always be brilliant.

Holiday shopping.

There are good and bad sides to going on holiday at the end of September and they are that your tan will last a little longer through Autumn and sometimes even Winter, summer clothes are always on sale which is perfect for holiday shopping and that when everyone is feeling depressed about being home in rainy old Wales, you’re still counting down the days to your blissful 10 days in the sunshine. Which will consist of drinking cocktails, eating whatever you want and spending time as a family, playing and just enjoying each others company instead of pissing each other off with the day to day mundane moanings of life.

The bad side is that even though all of your usual shops are still very much packed with sale summer clothes, your daughters shops aren’t. So here I am, on a Wednesday night, panicking and searching for any type of summer clothes online that are your daughters size, not too thick for the Tenerife sun and are a little dressy. There are plenty of shorts and tshirts left but do you think I can find summer dresses and little jumpsuits?! No, of course not!

Nothing is ever as simple as it used to be before I had a child but I think that’s more to do with me than it is with Hattie. I mean what is so good with being organised? Because I’m 22 and Hattie is nearly 2 and I still cant get my head around not doing everything last minute. Last minute mother right here!

2nd of August – Hattie’s two year check

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’ve needed to touch base a little and give my blog some much needed TLC but I have been so busy and so bloody stressed that I haven’t been able to just sit down and write but seeing as yesterday was such an amazing and monumental day in my life I thought that I’d make time and just document what happened in Hattie’s two year check.

Hattie has always been very forward in her little ways, the day she was born she was trying to lift her head and have a little nose around and she was walking by nine months, so I have had no concerns or worries about the way Hattie was growing or her behaviour.

The health visitor came and what should of been a 30 minute session only took 15 minutes. She couldn’t get over how forward Hattie was. Hattie built blocks, did a jigsaw puzzle, recognised which colours went where and named a few which left the health visitor in a little daze of how brilliant Hattie is! Hattie recognised the big and little spoon, pointed out the eyes, nose, mouth and tail on the cat and could say which little boy had shoes on and which didn’t. I was giggling so much because if I didn’t laugh, I was going to cry my eyes out. I am always proud of Hattie but seeing her do everything she was meant to with such ease made me feel like I am actually doing something right.

The health visitor then asked a few questions and wrote in her notes but before she left she asked me if Hattie is in nursery which I replied with a no. The health visitor was so shocked because she said she only sees children that advanced when they’ve been in a nursery from a young age.

The health visitor not only sung Hattie’s praises but also my own. She said that I was doing an amazing job and that everything I am doing with Hattie is spot on and that Hattie being so forward is all down to me and how I interact with her and play with her.

Some times all you need is a professional to say you’re doing a good job for all the silly little worries to disappear. I am a bloody good mother and yesterday, Hattie proved it!

So it looks like I am doing a great job… Next step, potty training!

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Wish us luck!!!!